Can’t Bring Myself To Play The Evil Within

I made a similarly titled post a few days ago about Alien: Isolation and how the intensity and stress caused by being stalked made it difficult to play. I don’t have that problem with The Evil Within because so far it just isn’t scary. Even while being chased by guys with chainsaws and wading through pools of human gore all I manage to think about is how the protagonist is going to end up surviving this entire ordeal just to die from the hepatitis he is sure to contract. What makes playing the game difficult is how the game is presented and how poorly optimized it is.

My computer isn’t great but I think it’s at least mid-high. I don’t know anything about specs anymore but it can run Alien: Isolation great on max settings but with The Evil Within I’m getting FPS bouncing around the low 20’s. That is pretty bad but I’m oddly used to it having played games on crappy computers for years. What makes the entire experience something rather difficult to stomach (it’s actually the first game that has ever made me feel ill) is a combination of several factors:

The Game Seems Super Zoomed In – I think this is referred to as “field of view” and I’m sure somebody will correct me if it isn’t. Anyway, the camera is extremely close to the character even to the point where he almost completely disappears from the screen when you aim to fire your weapon.This kind of view is something I find extremely disorienting and when you run around there is a lot of camera bobbing and turning the camera creates this swooping feeling that makes my stomach drop out. After only playing for 20 minutes or so I’ll get a headache and feel nauseated.

The Black Bars – There are horizontal black bars on the top and bottom of the screen. I really have no idea why this is. Supposedly for some kind of cinematic experience or something but I just don’t understand it. The field of view is already incredibly low and now you cut off a significant portion of the top and bottom screen? Why? Why would you do this?

Low FPS – By default the game is locked at 30 FPS unless you change that with a console command. That doesn’t really help me though since my performance is pretty horrible anyway. I did say that I’m not too bothered by low FPS but when you combine it with the other factors I mentioned it creates a visual nightmare.

I probably should have avoided the PC version of the game but I’m not always one to listen to warnings, even if there are a lot of them. Even so I can’t imagine I would get any better of an experience with the console version. At least on PC you can get field of view fixes and remove the black bars. I tried doing so but it only made my performance worse. Also oddly enough I didn’t get any sort of better performance when setting the graphics options to their lowest and on a lower resolution. That’s just weird, right? I get the same performance no matter what the settings are.

Anyway, buy at your own risk but I couldn’t recommend it. Some people really do like it, though. I’m just not really one of them. Maybe I’ll revisit it later on with better hardware.

  • That super zoomed in feeling is indeed fov (field of view)
    And its not only your pc that is struggling with this game on pc.

    I have read it is badly optimized for pc. (check steam reviews)
    Until they improve that it will run on a low fps.

    This is by a different company, but i remember ubisoft not giving a damn if a game is optimized for pc.
    Their words? just buy a faster pc. They could not be arsed to optimize.

  • I want to play it but considering I have not finished Wasteland 2 or Shadow of Mordor yet I will hold off. By then I suspect the pc community will have fixed the FOV issues.

    Horrible design choice.

  • This may be the actual design of the game, but if not, have you tried adjusting your computer’s resolution (I’ll assume you already tried to adjust the game’s resolution through its options menu).

    I have played games where changing the computer resolution prior to starting the game will correct field of vision issues (the most damning are the ones where UI button are just off screen).

    I once had a game that I couldn’t get the UI completely within my FOV and after trying various adjustment, I realized that I had some of the “Accessibility” option set for visually impaired as I like to tweak video settings since I use a giant monitor both for work and gaming. Once I de-selected these options the UI fit into the FOV.

    Your issue may be unrelated and working as intended, but just in case, there you go!

  • There are fov and black bars fixes for this game if you search on google.
    Only problem is that they make the game run even worse.

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